How To Build A Budget Scrambler Motorcycle (Video)

Look good while saving money on a custom scrambler of your own design.

So you’ve decided to build yourself a scrambler, congrats! Scramblers are great all-around bikes for most any road. Cool styling, dual sport tires, and comfortable riding positions make these motorcycles a jack of all trades (and master of none). There are tons of bikes to build a scrambler from, so first its up to you to decide which motorcycle fits your needs.

My build started life as a ponderous, chrome-clad 2006 Sportster 1200. Knowing this bike would primarily be a commuter with occasional trips into the Rocky Mountains, the Harley’s weight wasn’t a major concern.

If you plan to ride trails often, I would recommend a lighter bike. Sportsters can be made into off-road bikes, but good luck picking it up off the ground if you wash out.

Once you have picked your motorcycle, you’ll want to find a good set of tires. For my build, I selected the Pirelli MT60s. Similar to choosing your motorcycle, choosing your tire will come down to how you expect to ride. Continental TKC80s are another popular choice for scramblers which lean on the more aggressive side.

To accommodate larger tires, I swapped my 21 inch front wheel for a wider 19 inch wheel. The short factory rear shocks made way for a set of inexpensive but functional Burly Brand shocks.

To accompany the Sportster’s new rugged tires and stance, the bodywork needed a similar overhaul. Basic parts to change the style of my particular scrambler included the following.

  • Mid 70s Honda CB750 Fuel Tank
  • $150 Custom Banana Seat (S-CO Kustom Seats)
  • Frame Hoop and LED Taillight
  • Swingarm Mounted License Plate Bracket
  • Burly Brand “15 Stilletto Shocks
  • Biltwell Moto Bar and Risers
  • Pirelli MT60 Tires
  • 19×2.5 inch front wheel
  • Factory Sportster Mid-controls
  • Many Cans of Spray Paint

All in, this Sportster took approximately $5,000 and two weeks to piece together. It since served as my daily commuter for years, with only a couple minor oil leaks having needed repairs.

To learn more about this particular build, check out the videos linked below!